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My Desktop can start looking pretty crazy if I’m not careful. I try to keep it clean and all of my files sorted and organized, but I’m just as guilty as anyone of creating a pile of files I’m working with on my Desktop. I end up creating folders to sort them, but that defeats the purpose of keeping everything where I can see it.

Enter Desktop Groups, a useful app for organizing all of that stuff that clutters up my Desktop. Rather than hiding everything away in folders, I can keep all of my files out and accessible. I’ll take a look and see if Desktop Groups can really improve my organization and productivity. (more…)

Control Center, recently added to iOS 7, put a lot of often reached for settings and tools close at hand. While that’s great for iPhone users, it doesn’t do a lot for us on the Mac. There’s some great stuff in there, though, and I’d like to have all of that at my fingertips or the click of a mouse. Controls+ aims to connect Control Center and OS X by putting a lot of the best tools in the menu bar. (more…)

I want an easy way to get inside of package installers, those .PKG files, without actually installing them. Is that too much to ask? It’s not, because Pacifist does just that. In fact, it does a lot more, allowing users to look inside of all sorts of files and find info about installers, too. I tried it out and will let you know all about it. (more…)

With more Mac users than ever before using a portable Mac and Apple’s adoption of SSD storage, apps that specialise in finding ways to free up space and generally “tune-up” a Mac are becoming ever more popular.

The latest offering in this ever-increasing space is MacBooster, an all-in-one app that includes some additional features and functions that aren’t found in similar apps.

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I think, if we were to do a random poll, we’d probably find that most of us hate keeping our computers running smoothly more than any other task. Looking for old files and keeping the trash cans empty are unenviable jobs, and as the owner of a small business, I’ve contemplated hiring an all-purpose secretary to handle email and computer maintenance — but that’s not really practical.

All joking aside, one of my favourite things about my Mac are the apps that are available that help make boring tasks like cleaning up my hard drive less dull. Oddly, one of my favourite apps of all time, DaisyDisk, made the task fun. Finding joy in mundane things like computer maintenance is one thing that only Macs can offer, and that’s why I was thrilled to give Disk Diag a shot. It’s a simple app on the Mac App Store meant to do one thing well: clean out your old files. Read on to compare it with some of the competition and see if it’s for you.

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Intelligent recognition software, whether it be voice- or picture-based, is continuing to improve. Google Googles is a great example of this. It recognizes patterns in an image and uses them to search for related data. You can use the service to translate a sign in a foreign country or help you distinguish a piece of art. Google is definitely on top of the image recognition software, but smaller competitors are beginning to develop their own versions of the software.

Picatext is a new Mac app that hopes to bring text recognition to the desktop. It supports over 40 languages, claiming that it can take text from an image and copy it to your clipboard in a matter of seconds. Let’s find out if it works.

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There have been a number of tools and services to help make web development more efficient over the years, with CSS extensions such as Compass, LESS and SASS, that turn stylesheets into faux-programming languages, complete with variables. In addition to that, mobile is now the most popular way of accessing the internet, so it’s crucial to make website code and scripts as compact and efficient as possible.

CodeKit, by Incident 57, describes itself as “steroids for web developers” and, after using it for some time, I wholeheartedly agree.

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Despite the technological advances of fingerprint scanners and retina displays, iOS devices can still only print to a very limited number of printers that support AirPrint. While more and more printers are adding this feature (and some manufacturers, such as Canon, are even providing updates to certain models to add AirPrint functionality), buying a whole new printer for a feature you’ll likely not often use just cost effective.

Printopia is an app that’s best known for serving as a gateway between your iOS device and your printer, providing a way to print to any Mac-compatible printer directly from your iOS device, free from the restraints of AirPrint. While most may be content with only this functionality, Printopia offers so much more for both Mac and iOS devices alike, especially to those looking for a paperless workflow.

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I always want to make working on my Mac easier, and I’m never disappointed when I find an application that does that. Fast Toggles isn’t itself really an application, though, but a collection of small applications that each performs one small function each. These are all things that are often used but can take some digging to reach. Fast Toggles puts them in one place and makes them a lot easier to get at. Is Fast Toggles that much faster, though, or just a waste of time? (more…)

My Mac is essentially always on, because I always have apps running and browser tabs open. If I shutdown my laptop, that means all of that gets closed, which I’m okay with. What I’m not okay with is having to open all of it back up again. It took me ages to find all of those panda cam video screenshots; am I just supposed to do all of that “research” again? No thanks!

What I need is an app that will save all of my open windows, tabs and applications and open them back up for me when I’m ready. Cupcloud says it can do just that, so I gave the beta a try. I’ll let you know how it goes and whether it’s worth a download. >

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